Monday Chatter

Good morning, everyone! It’s RicoChey here. I know you’re used to seeing me twice a week, but from here on out, I’ll be your Monday host for Chatterific fun times. Let’s jump in!

I wanna talk about time. More specifically, I wanna talk about how much time it takes to do something worthwhile. The boyfriend and I are both well-educated and intelligent, and we enjoy that about one another, so we tend to have a lot of intellectually driven conversations when we’re alone. Today, we randomly got into it over that old anecdote about Ernest Hemingway (or whichever author is credited in the version you’ve heard) and his buddy, chatting at a bar, and getting into it over the value of a novel versus that of a shorter tale. Their resulting bet would ultimately serve to defend the validity of what we now call microfiction or flash fiction for decades to come, and I still reference it today.

The more Daniel and I talked, the more it became a question of which is more difficult: A 75,000 word novel, or a six-word snap. As a writer, I jumped right to defending both mediums as having the potential to be equally difficult and taxing pursuits. For one, you have to take one core idea and flesh it out to fill three hundred pages; for the other, you have to take that same core and find a way to condense it down to its simplest state without sacrificing its content. Neither is an easy task. Daniel writes, but of the two of us, I am the more seasoned writer, and so his argument differed. He reasoned that the wealth of information involved in novel writing levels out to the more exhaustive project, and should be considered more difficult. The longer, more arduous application of skill, he suggests, makes it the weightier accomplishment of the two.

I found I could not decide whether that offended me or not. Essentially, he is telling me that the longer I take to finish something, the more value it has and the more effort it required. I have written a personal library of short stories in my time with the Flame, ranging from around three hundred words to five thousand, and if I compared two entries to represent those examples, I can’t guarantee I’d remember the longer of the two to have been the more draining. Two different stories, both five hundred words long, could take me two entirely different lengths of time to complete. I’ve taken all week to write before, and other times I’ve jammed entries out just a few hours before they were due. Is the latter of the two examples less engaging than the former? I don’t think so. How about you?

Does the time it takes to create something speak directly to its worth? How would you describe the correlation between time spent and value presented?

Just a Reminder: The very first topic for January is up and waiting for you to show us paradise! How will you interpret the concept of Inception?


About brigitsflame

Brigit's Flame is an ever-evolving online writing community. We offer writing prompts and inspiration while sharing our own writing and reading observations with an audience of writers, poets, and readers. We encourage peer readership and constructive criticism for all of our members. Our motivation is simple -- creativity is a precious resource to be nurtured and the results of the creative process can grow into something beautiful when shared. All writing you share with us remains your property. Come check us out on Brigits Flame Writing Community on Wordpress and be sure to follow our activity on Brigits Flame on facebook, Brigits Flame on tumblr, or Brigits Flame on twitter. We are everywhere you are.
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3 Responses to Monday Chatter

  1. Rio says:

    Well, you could say that weight lifting is harder than swimming but a lot of weight lifters can’t swim and if you were drowning, who would you look to for what you needed to make it to the shore?

    I think they can’t be compared. Sometimes, swimming is what you need to do, sometimes lifting a heavy load is required. Look at the effect of some short stories and how they survive the centuries. They may not make the money or get the wide acclaim a novel might get but they often become a part of our perspective, niggling into our subconscious in ways that have as much impact (and sometimes more) than any heavy book.


  2. I don’t think it’s about time invested or length, it’s about personal growth and challenging yourself.

    If you are someone who writes a short story easily or with only moderate effort, then writing a full-length novel could become the challenge. If you pull it off with a coherent and engaging result which is the equivalent or improvement upon the short stories you have written before then you have met the challenge and succeeded at the task.

    If stories come to you in the form of novel without much thought, then to be able to write a true short story with the elements of conflict, growth/discovery, and resolution; under a certain word count; and get it to stand alone without reference to any story you’ve written before…then you have met the challenge and succeeded at the task.

    All of my ideas are long, involved drawn out affairs – mostly because over the course of my life as a reader I’ve preferred long, epic sagas. This is what I love to read and what I want more of in the world so it is how my creativity expresses itself. Joining a group to write short stories seemed silly to me until I read some of the stories and was amazed by the way some people can get so much accomplished in so few words. I wanted to learn how to do that. I still haven’t, but I keep trying.

    I don’t think it’s more or less intellectual, or more or less in overall quality, it’s all about challenging yourself to do more than what comes easy. Take the natural talent and push it to the limits. Write outside your genre, write a poem (and try to make it a good one), play with a memory until it comes out like a fireside tale…to be a better writer you only need to best yourself.

    Also, I have seen first hand where spending too much time on a project can strip it of everything that made it magical when it was first written. It just stops resonating.


  3. Pingback: Wednesday Chatter (and whatnot) | Brigit's Flame

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